A stereotype about lawyers is that we love words — because we sure use a lot of ‘em. That may be true; words are funny things, like the word “counsel,” which can mean an attorney, a marriage therapist, or a financial consultant. Before, during and after your divorce, you can benefit from the services of all three counselors.
Counseling before Divorce
We are counselors at law, yes, but we really are compassionate people. If you think you and your wife can save your marriage, visit a Virginia marriage counselor. Talk to a religious leader; find a mental health therapist.
Someone outside your marriage can provide that vital third viewpoint that could help your wife see she is, perhaps, being unreasonable with you. A marriage counselor could suggest ways you could return your focus to your marriage and, perhaps, spend less time at the office.
Perhaps the kids seem to be an issue; a marriage counselor can help with that, too, so you work in harmony to deal with challenging teens or unhappy preschoolers.
If you each see a Virginia therapist, you could each learn more about yourselves that could help you uncover a reason you cannot really connect. Often the journey to marriage includes a lot of baggage from childhood; your upbringing could be bringing down your marriage and you do not even know it.
Still, at some moment, you both may realize your marriage is not improving. A little nagging doubt enters every conversation. Your wife is not home and has no explanation for her absence. Perhaps you have just run out of energy keeping up a pretense.
At that time, you can still see the therapist, the marriage counselor, or the religious authority; you just have to add an attorney to your pre-divorce counseling.
An attorney can help you plan for a divorce that proceeds smoothly, with minimal drama. Your divorce attorney can counsel you as to how to arrange the separation, determine the date, and move steadily through the divorce proceedings themselves.
Getting a divorce attorney early in the process (perhaps even before you have separated) can also make the transition from separation to divorce easier on your children. It can also actually reduce your financial exposure, by getting professional advice on securing your assets before property settlement even comes up in conversations.
Counseling during Divorce
Your legal counselor will get to know you very well during the divorce. Your attorney may pick up on signals that you are not handling the divorce well, and make a recommendation to see a mental health counselor during this stressful time.
No matter how carefully you plan the divorce, you are going through an upheaval. You may benefit from continuing with the same therapist you visited before the divorce, or you may prefer to start fresh with another mental health professional as you struggle to deal with the emotional stress of a dissolving marriage, a possible rift with your kids, and relocation to a new home.
Financial counselors are worth their weight in gold during your divorce. You need absolutely flawless financial records so your property settlement agreement conference is done to perfection. This means your financial advisor can help you gather records on:
- Retirement accounts
- Deferred compensation plans
- Bank accounts
- Stocks, bonds and T-bills you may hold
- Real estate deeds
- Patents, trade secrets, copyrights, royalties and other intellectual property you may own
- Property titles
- Valuations of art, jewels and fur
- Insurance documents
Your entire estate, no matter how small you think your holdings are, is part of a divorce. Your wife is fully entitled to an equitable share of all marital property under Code of Virginia §20-107.3.
Your financial counselor may have the weighty job of demonstrating to your divorce attorney what holdings you had before the marriage, because separate property is excluded from property settlement agreements. This could save you thousands of dollars now and preserve a stronger financial future for you after the divorce.
Counseling after Divorce
If you thought you might need a therapist before or during the divorce, wait until after the divorce, when you confront all the pent-up feelings you have harbored but pushed aside. Once free of your ex-wife, you now have to face a lot of unfamiliar emotions:
Here, a mental health professional can help you cope with all the tumult and changes divorce brings. A legal professional can help, too; you may need to modify parenting time schedules, or seek changes to spousal support. No divorce is ever truly final until one of you remarries or, regrettably, passes away.
Reach Out to the Divorce Lawyers for Men
To obtain wise legal counsel before, during and after a divorce, call 757-383-9184 to speak with a Virginia family law attorney. Contact us online if you prefer, but contact our Virginia Beach offices as soon as you feel that little tickle, that certain nagging, that says a divorce may be in your future. We can counsel you on your legal options, steer you toward counseling for your head and heart, and suggest ways to get good financial counseling, as well.